Yearbook 2003

Ashwell yearbook 2003 museum report

By Peter Greener

From the Ashwell Village Museum for inclusion in the 2003 Yearbook.



2002 has been a year of consolidation. We have been working on the great new asset of our lottery funded extension and catching up with the more mundane chores of running a museum. The dedicated helpers have been continuing their good work, which, at present, is concentrated on the development of the permanent display.


The scanning of the photograph collection is nearing completion - although we are always receiving new photos. The idea behind this is to allow easier access, through the computer catalogue, to the large quantity of material that we possess. The system needs to be tried out so if you have a query and can find your way around a computer why not come and have a go.


In response to many requests by visitors for a keepsake we have produced an illustrated guide to the museum and some of its most prized exhibits. It is now at the printers and should be available by the time you read this. Many thanks must go to Iain Bain and Peter John Gates for making this into a distinctive high quality production.


Thank you to all those who contributed to the Jubilee Exhibition. It was a great success because so many people rummaged through old boxes and brought out precious souvenirs of previous royal events. This year’s special exhibition will be of Ashwell Paintings by Peter Gilman. It will open for the At Home on 11th May. Peter’s paintings are of excellent quality and are well worth seeing in there own right but they also show us many familiar village scenes that may well have changed since the 1970’s. We would appreciate any suggestions for consideration for a special exhibition on any subject that has relevance to the village.


Here is a small selection of the items that have been donated over the past year. They illustrate the diversity of material that we collect: A cricket bat presented by the Ashwell Cricket Club to W. Crane for the highest batting average in the 1885 season; Documents relating to the Wolverley House Lift Appeal Fund, cups and photos relating to the Over-60’s Club and a dashing sports-jacket made for Fergus Moynihan by Bonnetts the Ashwell tailors – still with all its buttons on!


My usual unbounded thanks to the WI for keeping the museum clean are tinged with sadness as I hear that the Ashwell branch is closing. However the ladies have agreed to continue with a new rota for which we are deeply grateful. The museum will keep all the record books and regalia ready for the Institute reforming.


The museum is part of the village and thanks must go to the many people who help out in all sorts of ways. To the Friends for keeping it open for visitors, to the curatorial helpers for giving the visitors something worth seeing and the Sunday Tearooms for tea and cakes. If you have any queries or would just like to see what’s going on do drop in. As well as the usual opening times we are often open on Monday evenings and Thursday afternoons when you are most welcome.   


Peter Greener    Hon Curator    742956

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